Intel IDF15 brings Intel/Fossil smartwatch, Curie module hacks, and a TV show
Aug19

Intel IDF15 brings Intel/Fossil smartwatch, Curie module hacks, and a TV show

This summer’s IDF15 (Intel Developer Forum) in San Francisco brought together a host of innovative developers. While the event itself spanned a fairly large technological spectrum (from robotics to IoT to AI), the presentations regarding wearable tech were especially interesting for us. Check out our highlights below. Intel/Fossil Smartwatch Last year Intel teamed up with watch maker Fossil Group to create an Android Wear smartwatch. That watch was finally unveiled, and by the looks of it, it is meant to be an Apple competitor. Many have noted the smartwatch’s resemblance to the Moto 360 ecosystem with the round face (even featuring the black bar at the bottom) and a choice of interchangeable leather and metal bands available in silver and gold. While details are scarce (we don’t even know the device’s name), we do know that Fossil plans on also making watches for Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Fossil Group announced a series of device called “Connected Accessories” that will include men’s and women’s bracelets, and two smartwatches, including the above shown smartwatch running Android Wear. No price points were announced but a release date of October 2016 was given for the Connected Accessories. Curie Module Uses IDF also saw an announcement for a host of new Curie module uses. The button-sized wearables chip is already known for it’s role in a motion detection wristband capable of commandeering a swarm of robot spiders, but this time around it’s versatility was demonstrated through a BMX demonstration. Curie modules were embedded in the seat and handlebars of the bikes and served to gather data on everything from airtime and maximum height to landing impact and bike angle as professional riders took to the stage. While the demonstration showed off Curie’s ability in a fun and visually engaging way, it’s functionality is in reality unlimited. Curie’s power-to-size ratio really does allow for an incredibly diverse range of practical uses- from unlocking a computer via wristband to serving as the most reliable fitness wearable to date. America’s Greatest Makers TV Show The tech revolution is finally coming to the masses. United Artists Media Group CEO Mark Burnett, creator of the entrepreneurial TV hit Shark Tank and wilderness endurance competition Survivor, has signed on for a new show- and the prize is $1 million. Titled America’s Greatest Makers, inventors across the country will be asked to submit videos presenting ideas for wearable tech or consumer devices powered by the aforementioned Curie module. “I am really excited because it’s so fresh,” said Burnett. “We’re going to spur the tech community, and the future tech community. These are people who never would have thought to invent something until they...

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Rithmio recognizes your every gesture — and now has $3 million in the pocket
Jul02

Rithmio recognizes your every gesture — and now has $3 million in the pocket

On its own, the average activity tracker can be pretty inaccurate when it comes to determining a user’s gestures. But a gesture recognition software from Chicago-based Rithmio can make these kinds of gadgets far more precise. The potential for Rithmio’s platform is so great that the company just closed a $3 million seed round of financing co-led by KGC Capital and Intel Capital. With the raise, Rithmio intends to solidify key partnerships in the wearables space to achieve its goal of becoming the world’s leading gesture recognition platform. “Activity tracking is incomplete today,” Rithmio CEO Adam Tilton tells Wearables.com. “The device is restricted to one limb and activities tracked are a mere fraction of how a person moves in a day. Wearables will quickly evolve past the device into multiple devices working in unison to track how the entire body moves.” The company opened sign ups for its SDK this week and is hopeful that developers and product teams at startups and stalwarts alike will come calling. As Tilton puts it, what Rithmio can do goes far being using motion data for fitness use cases. You might also like: Rithmio’s CEO explains the issues behind today’s activity trackers “Today a physical therapist shows a patient how to do a rehabilitation exercise in the office and gets very little insight on how well or whether at all a patient performs the exercise at home,” he says. “We can solve this problem and make an impact on outpatient care with our technology.” Intel Capital’s investment in Rithmio is one of many recent strategic moves including Recon Instruments, Thalmic Labs, and Basis. Earlier this year at CES, Intel also announced a button-sized system on chip called Intel Curie that’s anticipated to be released in late 2015. “Intel is exploring a wide range of potential applications for wearable tech and gesture recognition,” said Steven Holmes, vice president of the New Devices Group and general manager of the Smart Device Innovation team at Intel. “We look forward to working with Rithmio as they push the boundaries of their...

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Intel acquires Recon Instruments, enters smart glasses game
Jun19

Intel acquires Recon Instruments, enters smart glasses game

In a recent blog post, Intel exec Josh Walden announced the chip mogul’s acquisition of Recon Instruments, a Canadian sports company leading the high-tech eyewear game. The move comes following a reorganization of Intel’s operations that included the development of the New Devices Group, an operation specifically aimed at advancing wearable devices. The plan is to integrate Recon into this operation while still maintaining sales of their products and developing new ones. Although Intel remains on top as the world’s biggest chipmaker within the PC industry, CEO Brian Krzanich has mentioned that the company’s failure to integrate into the smartphone market will not be repeated with wearables. Considering Intel’s purchase of smartwatch maker Basis and smart bracelet partnership with MICA and Opening Ceremony over the past year, we can see how the acquisition of Recon is just the next logical step in the wearable tech game. “We at Recon believe this is also a tremendous opportunity that will lead to amazing things, just as much for us as for our customers” announced the company. Let’s hope this is as good a move for...

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5 companies trying really hard to make fashionable wearable tech
Jun02

5 companies trying really hard to make fashionable wearable tech

In a market admittedly flooded with remarkably ugly wearable tech, it was only a matter of time before devices were disguised as jewelry. The most successful of these “fashionable” devices are the ones that are not a mere coverup, but statement pieces that one would want to wear with or without the embedded technology. Here are our top five contenders for wearable tech attempting to marry aesthetics with innovation. Whether or not they’re worth the price tags — or even worth wearing — will be up to the eye of the beholder. June UV What’s cool about Nenatmo’s June UV bracelet is that it does one thing and one thing only: tracking UV exposure. The design is sleek and inconspicuous, also versatile in that it could be clipped onto a hair tie or lapel. However, if you are the type of person who wears sunscreen daily, you may not benefit much from a $129 device whose purpose lies in telling you when to apply it.   Misfit Flash The Misfit Flash is probably the most affordable ($49.99) and simultaneously simple device on this list. The gadget doubles as a fitness and sleep monitor, can clasp onto clothing, and is convenient in its water resistance and charge-free software (a single charge lasts up to six months!). The Flash also comes in seven non-cheesy but super-vibrant colors and is compatible with a large variety of smartphones. For a more blinged-out version of this tracker, check out the Swarovski Shine — although keep in mind that with great glitz comes a great price. Ringly Probably one of the more useful tech rings on the market, Ringly is actually pretty good looking (albeit slightly clunky). Its functionality is undeniable; choose what notifications you want to receive from whichever apps, and the ring vibrates and lights up in assigned, corresponding colors. Because it is somewhat inconspicuous, it seems like a great little gadget for the businesses woman on the go. $195 isn’t too steep a price for 18k gold and semi-precious stones if you live the type of life that prevents you from constantly pulling out your phone throughout the day. Tory Burch for Fitbit In a world overflowing with notoriously ugly wearable tech, we appreciate Tory Burch’s attempt at an aesthetically pleasing device that might actually blend into a woman’s wardrobe rather than stand out. However, her designs are anything but understated. Once on-arm, the bracelet is loud and heavy. The fact that it is costume and not gold means that it would wear quickly, as well. Unless you are a Tory fanatic, you are probably better off saving the $195 for a more affordable fitness tracker. Opening Ceremony & Intel The result of a partnership between...

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5 things you missed at Wearable World Congress
May23

5 things you missed at Wearable World Congress

In the event you weren’t able to make it to Wearable World Congress in San Francisco this past week, fret not, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled five interesting topics you ought to catch-up on if you want to have intelligent dinner party conversation this weekend (Assuming you’re dining with fellow wearable tech fanatics. If not, we apologize in advance to your companions…). VoicePark Anybody living in an urban area can attest to the trials and tribulations involved in the hunt for a parking space. VoicePark (very ambitiously) seeks to end this dilemma by installing infrared parking-space sensors in every potential street parking spot in a given city to let you know of an upcoming open spot. Better yet, it tracks how long cars on the street have already been parked to best predict when they will be leaving. Fat chance any city government will approve and install the (environmentally friendly!) technology, but here’s to dreaming. Pebble’s health Despite the fact that it only took the Pebble Time a record 20 minutes to hit its Kickstarter goal of $500,000 and an additional 14 minutes to double that goal, the company is allegedly experiencing a bout of financial stress. Considering the company’s main competitor is now Apple, it ought not be surprising that the smartwatch innovators needed to borrow a $5 million loan and additional $5 million credit line. “We’re a young company. The outlook for Pebble is very positive,” commented an anonymous employee. That sentiment was echoed by CEO Eric Migicovsky during his speech when he noted, “We’re focused on keeping is simple, affordable and useful. Google has put forth a dozen different watches. Apple has put forth a high fashion watch and this is great.” He added a piece of advice to both companies: Jeep your platforms open or risk crushing innovation. We’re with ya, Eric. CreoPop The world’s first 3D pen with cool (both meanings) ink has arrived. Not only can you draw in the palm of your hand, you can smell watermelon while you do it, have it change color, or even glow in the dark. Drawback? The pen itself is $119 and the ink averages to about 15 cents a foot, pretty pricey if you are planning on creating a Hello Kitty figurine. Not sure there are any (other) practical applications for the gadget, but it is certainly a cool toy. Ladies in wearable tech It’s no secret that women are largely underrepresented in the technological realm. But might the advent of wearables be the turning point? Intel executive Ayse Ildeniz seems to think so. Since a wearable gadget is in a sense an extension of oneself (much like clothes, accessories, etc.),...

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